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Today the Supreme Court held an investiture ceremony for Justice Brett Kavanaugh. Kavanaugh took the oath of office on October 6, shortly after he was confirmed, and he began to participate in the Supreme Court’s cases two days later, so this morning’s six-minute ceremony is largely a formality, at which the court will officially receive Kavanaugh’s commission; the ceremony, which is followed by a reception, also gives Kavanaugh a chance to celebrate with his family, friends and colleagues.
It hasn’t been that long – less than 18 months – since the court held an investiture ceremony for Justice Neil Gorsuch, so many of the details are familiar to the press corps. We are ushered to our seats in the press section roughly 40 minutes before the ceremony begins, giving us plenty of time to gossip and crane our necks to try to spot the notables in the audience.
Judges - US - Court - Appeals - District
Many (if not all) of the judges of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, where Kavanaugh was a judge until recently, are in attendance, sitting in the front row of the public section. The group includes Merrick Garland, who was nominated in 2016 by President Barack Obama to fill the seat that Gorsuch now holds.
Sitting several rows ahead of Garland is Mitch McConnell, the Senate majority leader, who famously refused to hold a hearing for Garland. McConnell is accompanied by his wife, Elaine Chao, the Secretary of Transportation.
Senator - Lindsay - Graham - Defender - Kavanaugh
Senator Lindsay Graham, a staunch defender of Kavanaugh during Kavanaugh’s Senate confirmation hearings, is also in attendance, as is former White House counsel Don McGahn.
Shortly before the ceremony begins, White House press secretary Sarah Sanders is escorted to one of the seats normally reserved for lawyers. Sanders, whose relationship with the press has sometimes been contentious, does not follow the example set...
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